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Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) :: Conto 7

The Behavior of a Saintly Person

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Srimad Bhagavatam » Conto 7   

 The Behavior of a Saintly Person

(1) S'rî Nârada said: 'A person who because of his selfrealization is ready for what I before described, should wander the earth, and thereto, not wishing to keep more than his body, not depend on anything and stay in no village for more than a night [see also the story of King Rishabha 5.5: 28]. (2) The renunciate [sannyâsî] should not wear more clothing but some covering for his private parts and, free from misfortune, in his forsaking not take to anything else but his rod [danda] and such. (3) Resorting to Nârâyana living on alms only and being fully satisfied within, he moves by himself alone, fully independent, wishing each living being the best in perfect peace. (4) Such a one should see this universe of cause and effect as existing within the everlasting self in the beyond and see himself as [a part of] the Supreme Absolute everywhere pervading the world of cause and effect. (5) Of the sleeping, waking and the dreaming in between one may be engaged in [see also 6.16: 53-54] should the one who actually sees the self understand that the states of being bound and being liberated in fact are nothing but illusory images. (6) One should not rejoice in the sure - or not sure either - of the death of this body and its lifespan, one should rather observe the Time Supreme which rules the manifestation and disappearance of the living beings. (7) One should not indulge in fixations on the untrue nor try to have a career in that; pointless arguing should be given up nor should one take shelter of factions [political parties]. (8) No followers for the sake of this or that, nor certainly the reading and writing of many books, nor should one try to give discourses for one's livelihood or ever try to increase material opulences [like temples e.g.]. (9) The one advanced who is of peace and an equal mind may, even though he as a renunciate never needs them, adopt the symbols of his spiritual position [his âs'rama*] or just as well give them up. (10) Even though one externally might not directly recognize him as a renunciate, is his purpose clear; such a one being a saint may present himself in society like an excited boy or, having been a great orator, now be like a man unable to speak.

(11) The learned recite as an example of this hidden identity a very old historical incident of a conversation between Prahlâda and a saintly man who lived as a python. (12-13) He saw the purest, most grave, spiritual power of that man at the bank of the Kâverî river on a ridge of the mountain Sahya, with him laying on the ground covered by dirt and dust all over his body. Prahlâda, the favorite of the Supreme Lord, met him when he in the company of a couple of his royal friends was traveling all the world in an effort to understand what it was that ruled the people. (14) From what he did, how he looked, to what he said and to his age and occupation and other marks of identity could the people not make up whether or not that man was the same person they used to know. (15) After paying his respects and honoring him according the rules by touching his lotus feet with his head, posed the great asura devotee of the Lord, eager to know him, the following question. (16-17) 'I see you are maintaining quite a fat body like someone lusting after the money; people who always worry about an income are surely of sense gratification and those being so wealthy thus as the enjoyers of this world do, not doing anything else, in effect become as fat indeed as this body of yours. (18) It is clear that you lying down doing nothing, o man of the spirit, have no money at all for enjoying your senses; how can, not being after the pleasure, your body be in this condition, o learned one, please tell us that if you excuse me for my impudence. (19) Despite of your being so learned, skilled and intelligent, capable of speaking nicely and remaining equipoised do you, seeing how the people are engaged in fruitive labor, lie down!'

(20) S'rî Nârada said: 'This way showered by the words of the daitya king smiled the great muni at him and was he, captivated by the nectar of his words, willing to reply. (21) The honorable brahmin said: 'O best of the Asuras hailed by all âryans, from your transcendental vision you are well acquainted with indeed all the things that the people are inclined to or desist from according their different positions. (22) He who has Nârâyana our God and Nârâyana our Lord always in his heart, can by his devotion alone uproot all the ignorance like the sun expells the darkness. (23) Nevertheless I shall answer all your questions o King, in accord with the Vedas, as you indeed are, for someone who desires the purification of his self, are worthy the address. (24) Because of material desires struggling for my existence was I, under a worldly sway catering to my lusty appetites and driven from one activity to the other, born in different forms of life. (25) This human form, carried by the waves of the material ocean, achieved, because of his karma going here and there, the heaven's gate of liberation, the lower species of life and a human life again [see also B.G. 8: 16 and **]. (26) And in that life has one the union of man and woman for the sake of pleasure. But seeing, always engaged in fruitive activities, how one arrives at the opposite [of that pleasure], have I now ceased in order to escape from that misery. (27) Happiness is the natural state of the living entity, and thus, definitely ceasing with all out here in having seen how the worldly demands are definitively linked to sense gratification, have I, contemplating these matters, entered silence. (28) Situated in this world does someone, by the false attraction of that material world very fearfully being entangled in material affairs that are strange to himself, indeed forget the interest of the living entity within himself. (29) Just like water that overgrown by grass is missed by a thirsty one who ignorantly looks for it elsewhere, is the same way someone in his material self-interest pursuing a mirage [of worldy happiness]. (30) Someone who with his body and everything is submitted to the superior control of matter, searches for the happiness belonging to the self in trying to diminish his misery and is, being fully conditioned, baffled over and over in his plans and actions. (31) By the threefold of the miseries created by oneself, by others and by nature, is the mortal person, sometimes being of some success in fighting the adverse consequences, still not free from them; what then is the value of such happiness, where do those desires lead to? (32) Just consider the miseries of the rich and wealthy who are so very concerned about their possessions: as the victim of their senses have they afraid sleepless nights in which they see the danger coming from all sides. (33) Of the government, of thieves, of enemies, relatives, animals and birds, of beggars, of Time itself, as well as of himself, is the one living for the money always afraid. (34) What an intelligent person must give up is the original cause that leads to all the lamentation, illusion, fear, anger, attachment, poverty, toiling and so on of the human being: the desire for prestige and money [***].

(35) The bees at work and the big snakes in this world are in this our first class gurus: from what they teach do we find the satisfaction [of taking only what is necessary] and the renunciation [of not seeking things elsewhere]. (36) The bees have taught me to detach from all desires as for the money, that with difficulty is acquired as the honey, one even kills one another taking it away from the owner. (37) Me not desiring more am happy with what I obtain free from endeavoring, and if nothing is found, I just lie down for many days to endure like a python. (38) Sometimes I eat little, sometimes I eat much food, whether it is fresh or sometimes stale, or of a great flavor or tasteless; sometimes it is brought with respect and sometimes it is offered in disrespect; thus eating during the night somewhere or during the day at times, I eat whatever is available. (39) Of linen, silk or cotton, deerskin, with a loincloth, or whatever material it may concern, with a happy mind I put on what is available by destiny. (40) Sometimes I lay down on the earth, on grass, leaves, on stone or a pile of ash and sometimes, to whatever someone wishes me, I lay down in a palace on a first-class bed with pillows [see also B.G. 18: 61]. (41) Sometimes I bathe nicely and smear my body with sandalwood and do I properly dress, decorated with garlands and various ornaments, and sit I on a chariot, an elephant or the back of a horse; and sometimes I wander completely naked as if haunted by a ghost, o mighty one. (42) I do not swear, nor do I praise the people who are of different natures; I pray for the ultimate benefit for them all, which in truth is the Oneness of the Greater Soul. (43) The sense of discrimination should, as an oblation, be offered in the fire of consciousness, that consciousness then in the fire of the mind that is the root of all confusion, that mind next needs to be offered in the fire of the false self and this ego of material identification should, following this principle, be offered in the total material energy. (44) The false of material existence is, by a thoughtful person who realizes the ultimate truth in his selfrealization, offered as an oblation and because of that finds he, free from desires, himself thus situated in the faithfulness to the essence of his own living self. (45) This story about myself I this way pass on to you in utter confidence; it might be so that you, from your good self as a man of transcendence with the Supreme Lord, miss the common [scriptural] explanation.'

(46) S'rî Nârada said: 'Thus hearing from the holy man what truly the dharma of the paramahamsas is [see also 6.3: 20-21] took the asura lord very pleased, after duly honoring him, leave of him to return home.'

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SOURCE: Translation: Anand Aadhar Prabhu, http://bhagavata.org/

Production: the Filognostic Association of The Order of Time, with special thanks to Sakhya Devi Dasi for proofreading and correcting the manuscript. http://theorderoftime.com/info/guests-friends.html

The sourcetexts, illustrations and music to this translation one can find following the links from: http://bhagavata.org/